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Wikipedia Wants to Eliminate The Federalist! Oh, noes!

When I saw the entry at memeorandum proclaiming that “Wikipedia Is Now Trying To Eliminate The Federalist’s Online Entry,” I was flummoxed.  I mean, The Federalist, popularly known as The Federalist Papers, is among the most important collection of documents in American history. In it, three key Framers of the US Constitution—Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay—explicated the rationale behind various provisions of the charter written in Philadelphia and championed its ultimate ratification. How could Wikipedia even think about removing its entry?

Alas, the link took me to an article at some blog called The Federalist that was apparently founded by Ben Domenech and some people I’ve never heard of. Somehow, that strikes me as less noteworthy.

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About James Joyner
James Joyner is the publisher of Outside the Beltway, an associate professor of security studies at the Marine Corps Command and Staff College, and a nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. He earned a PhD in political science from The University of Alabama. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter.


  1. Pinky says:

    You’re missing out on a great blog. I hadn’t heard of them until maybe 6 months ago, but then everyone else I read started linking to them. They’re not perfect, but they tend to be very smart. As for the story itself, The Federalist has had a short series of articles recently about Neil Degrasse Tyson’s apparent looseness with the facts. Wikipedia has eliminated any mention of it from their pages. It’s an interesting story due to the intense devotion among Tyson fans.

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  2. bob says:

    About a year ago, I tried to change wikis Paul Revere rendition to reflect the real story, that Revere was warning the British that the Colonists had guns, and was not warning the Colonists that the British were coming, as many have been misinformed to believe and they deleted it.

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  3. Will Truman says:

    The questionable aspect here isn’t that they’re considering removing a publication for being insufficiently noteworthy, but that they’re doing so as said publication is being loudly critical of their inclusion criteria (a debate over something that is actively raising their profile) with regard to the NDT fabrications.

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  4. Scott O says:

    @bob: You just need to follow the rules.
    Ten Simple Rules for Editing Wikipedia

    Rule 6. Cite, cite, cite. So let them know that Sarah Palin said it and I’m sure they’ll accept your edit.

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  5. Pinky says:

    The Daily Beast did an article about the feud. Couldn’t that be cited?

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  6. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    Yeah, it’s payback about Tyson. The Federalist found example after example of example of Tyson simply making up quotes to make himself look good and others look bad, some people started putting mentions of that on Tyson’s Wikipedia page, Tyson fanbois kept deleting the references, and retaliated by pushing to delete the Federalist’s page.

    You Don’t Dis The Cult’s Leading Apostles, Or You Will Be Punished.

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  7. Pinky says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: Yeah, but, but…Bush is stupid. He’s got to be stupid for saying those things. Not that he actually said them said them, but he said something like them. Well, except for the fact that he wasn’t claiming that Christianity is superior to Islam, because he didn’t say anything like that; in fact he pointedly praised Islam throughout his presidency. But he said a lot of warlike stuff – I know, this was something he said during a national tragedy, and it was about astronauts, not about Islam, but Bush…is stupid. We shouldn’t let facts get in the way of what we know in our hearts, and that’s that Bush is stupid, and anything you can say to make fun of him might as well be true, even if it isn’t.

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  8. Pinky says:

    And I just realized, James just told us that he hadn’t heard of The Federalist, but reads memeorandum. Yikes. Waste of a perfectly good internet connection.

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  9. Tyrell says:

    @bob: Where did you hear that ? I have read some things about Revere’s possible ties to a secret society, maybe the free masons.

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  10. JKB says:


    Yelling that the British were coming would have been as effective as running through Spanish Harlem yelling Maria. He yelled that the regulars were out. Almost all the people, colonist and British regular alike were British. And the British already knew the colonists had guns. That is why they were out that fateful night. To confiscate the guns.

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  11. Jeremy says:

    Harsanyi writes there. I thought he used to be a national columnist (maybe still is.)

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  12. Pinky says:

    Tyson has finally admitted that he blew the quote, including its context and timing. He’s almost admitted he blew the meaning of the quote. This, days after his initial reply:

    …I’m vastly more likely to forget an incident than to remember an incident that never happened. So I assure you, the quote is there somewhere. When you find it, tell me.

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